In my 30 years I find myself constantly searching for my “purpose.” I could even go as far to say that lately God has been stirring my heart to help other women find THEIR greatest purpose. After processing the puzzle pieces God has been giving me for months on what it is I am to do for Him…I had this revelation. Our ministries, our jobs, our charities or non-profits…these are all amazing things we DO. They absolutely enrich our lives and give us purpose. They are NOT however our greatest purpose. Raising our sons and daughters to be warriors for Christ, THAT is our greatest purpose. We have been entrusted with a different kind of ministry, one right inside the walls of our homes. And it is a great honor to be called by name to steward the gifts of our children.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
During the last 4 days of “Icemaggedon” I had a LOT of time to really connect and invest in my son. I was able to watch his words go from a thought to a sentence. I was able to feel his emotion by looking in his eyes – really looking into them. My sister has always said, “there is a difference in holding your child and HOLDING your child.” I was able to HOLD my little boy. No distractions, nothing more important to do, no where to run off to. He was the center of our world and his every request to “play mommy, play mommy” was granted with pleasure. We sung, danced, ate, slept, snuggled, played, made music…but the greatest thing we did over these four days was talk. If you have a toddler, you will know what I mean by this. Jude talks a lot, but most of the time are just passing messages. This weekend, we communicated in a new language that I will forever treasure as some of my greatest memories! We quoted scriptures and read the Bible and we talked about Jesus. Realizing he had never seen a picture of Jesus before and knowing he was too young for anyone to have described Jesus to him, my husband pulled up a photo of Jesus and held it in front of Jude. He asked “Jude, do you know who this man is?” Jude quickly responded “Bible”…. (long intense pause while observing the photo diligently)… “JESUS”!! With tears flowing down my cheeks from awe, I asked “Jude, when have you seen this man?” He replied “night-night”. I was shocked, but I don’t know why. It makes sense…his first word was light. His first intentional hand gesture was “Praise the Lord” (with hands raised). The first time I felt him move in my belly was when I was 16 weeks pregnant worshiping in my car. And his name means “praise.” I prayed when I was pregnant to have a child that loved to be in the presence of God, that loved to worship his King! I prayed when Jude was only the size of a blueberry for his hands to do great things for the Kingdom and his feet to go to any place God calls him to go. I prayed that my son would be set apart and called by name. And I believe I am watching God answer my prayers.
And they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” Matthew 21:16
If my purpose was to do great hair or decorate really cute or even lead beautiful worship…who would take these fragile and vulnerable gifts in my son and usher them before the throne? THAT is my GREATEST PURPOSE.
I believe all children recognize God’s presence from birth. I believe that if we continue to keep them in the word and covered under a blanket of Godly influence, they will never doubt the REALNESS of Jesus. Will they fall into sin at some point? Yes, most likely. Will they run from God one day? It’s a possibility. But will they EVER forget that it feels like to be wrapped in peace and joy that only the Holy Spirit can bring? No, they won’t ever forget. They will return to Christ…every time. It is up to us though to shepherd them and raise them to know that holy presence.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
The next day after Jude named Jesus from a photo, I was rocking him to sleep. He had been saying this word all night that sounded like elbow or Elmo. I had given up on trying to figure it out. As I was saying our nightly prayers I referred to him as “my sweet Angel.’ He said, “Engo”!! I stopped and asked him “Jude, is that what you have been saying tonight?” And he said, “yessss”. I said, “Do you see an Angel?” He said, “YESSS”! I asked him where he saw it and he pointed above his bed. I said, “You see an Angel above your bed?” He shook his head yes. I was again overwhelmed by the vulnerability I felt in that moment. I believed him. I believe he sees with spiritual eyes. Call me crazy…I prayed that he would have spiritual eyes. So I started asking a variety of questions. “What does the angel look like?” He replied, “Amy, Maggie, Laura.” (Amy Ford, and my 2 amazing baby sitters, whom I realized all three have super long, beautiful hair.) So I asked, “Does the angel have long hair like Amy, Maggie and Laura?” He nodded yes. “What color is the angel wearing?” He responded, “Mommy, daddy, sissy.” (I instantly knew what he was thinking. All three of us had been wearing white v-necks that day.) I said, “Was the Angel wearing the same color as us?” He nodded yes. I said, “Jude, was the Angel wearing blue, black, white, yellow or red?” He blurted out, “Blue…NO WHITE!” I was of course balling at this point, and I asked, “Jude, do the Angels stay by your bed while you sleep?” And he nodded yes. The next morning Jason, having missed the conversation, had one question to add! He asked, “Jude, do the Angels sing?” Jude quickly responded, “Engo’s ah-gui-gar.” (his word for guitar). I said, “Is it a big guitar or a little guitar?” He said, “BIG, HEAVY!” And tonight I asked him if he saw any Angels in his room and he said, “Engos airplane.” I said, “Angels fly like an air plane?” And he said, “Yeah.” Whoa.
I tell you that story so you can fully understand the power that Christ has in our children’s little minds! Its up to me to protect Jude’s spiritual eyes! And to help him open them so he can see all the things Jesus wants him to see. Our babies are so tender and they ALL have the gifts of the Spirit within them already. However, We are responsible to minister and pour into those gifts. When we take it seriously we are investing not only in our child’s future but the future of anyone they encounter including ourselves. The Word says that our babies have the power to “still the enemy.”
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2
Wow, what a powerful thought. We have sons and daughters with swords in hand…and its up to us to teach them how to fight. We MUST recognize this as the most important thing we EVER do with our life.
This is our greatest purpose.
I challenge you to look for God in your child today. Talk to your infant about the LOVE Jesus has for them. Sing worship songs over them. Talk to your toddler about what he sees in his dreams. And write it all down so you will never forget just HOW BIG GOD IS! Don’t ever take lightly the words out of your child’s heart. They don’t know how to lie or embellish yet…they don’t know what make-believe is. All they know is how to express what they see or feel. And especially children who are just starting to talk, they need our help decoding what they see, hear and feel. Without putting words into their mouths! Ask God to give you spiritual eyes and ears to hear him through your child’s descriptions. You won’t be sorry you took the time to invest in developing their spiritual eyes and ears!
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15
“Faith like a child”…that’s what comes to mind. It’s that kind of faith we should all hope to have. And it’s our children who can show us the way to that kind of faith.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
Written by Alyse Krause